Is wellbeing the conscience of your company?

It’s been argued that HR needs to bring more compassion into the workplace because wellbeing, the ‘caring’ face of the employer, is really all about grim-faced metrics and measurement. In other words, employers use wellbeing as a sop to their conscience while getting employees to work harder! Is that true?

Perhaps ‘wellbeing measures’ are introduced by some hard-nosed bosses who just want their pound of flesh from every employee. But in our book, this isn’t wellbeing at all. It’s important to realise that a few ad hoc initiatives don’t make a strategy.

So what does? Here are a few suggestions for making sure wellbeing is part of your culture.

  1. Be clear about what you want to achieve (reduce absence rates? Increase productivity? Make your employees loyal and happy?). Yes, wellbeing is about people, but it has to have a business case too.
  2. Take a holistic view. Wellbeing doesn’t only touch on health, feeling good, fitness or food. It’s about all these and more. So be sure to look at your company values, processes, physical environment, management style and culture.
  3. Who better to ask than your employees? Get their view on what would make a difference – preferably through an independent outsider who can ask tough questions and get honest answers.
  4. Make sure HR is part of your solution. Equipping managers with the right skills, revisiting policies, developing values – all this and more contributes to corporate wellbeing and HR has a vital role to play.
  5. Get senior management buy-in. For wellbeing to stick, directors have to walk the talk (which is also why you need a business case).
  6. Evaluate what you do. True, not everything that counts can be counted and there will be many intangible outcomes. But there’s nothing wrong with knowing what’s worked and why.

None of this is lacking in compassion. In fact, if wellbeing is truly meaningful, it will be driven by a value around compassion. And if it’s holistic, it will come from directors, managers, HR and every part of the business.

To discuss how to make wellbeing integral to your business conscience, please get in touch. We’ll be more than happy to help.